D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - It's no secret to the coast that D'Iberville is one of the busiest cities to shop, with a vast array of shopping plazas, but the number of retail thefts that occur in these shopping centers is just as high as the variety of stores in the city.
D'Iberville has unveiled a new crime-fighting unit, targeting shoplifters and other retail related crimes. Barry Mence is the retail crime manager at Lowe's Home Improvement. He's definitely seen his share of retail crimes occur right in his store.
"At Lowe's, we typically experience anything from major credit fraud to professional organized shoplifting," said Mence.
All that could soon change thanks to two new officers solely dedicated to preventing thefts and other store related crimes.
"The extra officers definitely provide more support and more resources for us to lean on as a loss prevention," said Mence.
The retail crimes unit was made possible thanks to a grant provided by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety allocating funds that will help pay the new officers' salary for up to a year.
"We applied for and received a grant for $175,000 that would help us combat retail crime," said D'Iberville Police Chief Wayne Payne.
Merchants will also work directly with the officers in a new partnership that hopes to benefit everyone.
"If the police department needs any information from us, we will go through the procedure to get them what they need and help support them and criminal investigations in any way we can," said Mence.
"We're trying to combat that and send the message out that if you want to violate the law, go somewhere else," said Payne.
The grant provided by the MDPS also paid for two new vehicles solely dedicated to the Retail Crimes Unit.